Turmeric info Cooking Tips
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Turmeric info Tips and Information|
Turmeric info and tips will help you in your cooking and food preparation.These are very useful and quite interesting information that you learn once and then apply at any time you need it.
haldi or huldi
From the gingerlike root which is dried to rocklike hardness then ground .Essential to many curry recipes primarily to give the familiar golden yellow colour. Pungent and bitter use sparingly.
One of the most traditional and versatile of spices used in indian cooking turmeric is the very heart and soul of any curry. This key ingredient is used daily in every part of India as its unique colour and flavour enriches every regional cuisine. Turmeric is used prolifically in a host of indian dishes ranging from starters lentils meats and vegetables. It has also been used for centuries as a curative and cleansing agent. Since early times it has been associated with purification so that even today an indian bride and groom are ritually anointed with turmeric as part of a cleansing ceremony affer which they do not leave the house until the wedding.
Turmeric is stored in every indian house its use as a quick antiseptic as a beauty aid and of course as a versatile condiment a truly exceptional part of the traditional indian spice mix.
How it grows
A member of the ginger family turmeric grows best in a tropical climate. India is the worlds largest producer and exporter About 180000 tonnes of cured turmeric are produced in India annually of which 92% is consumed within the country and 8% is exported to about 64 countries worldwide. The main turmeric growing states are Andhra Pradesh Maharashtra Orissa Tamil Nadu Kamataka and Kerala Other countries which grow turmeric are China Haiti Jamaica Japan Maiaysia Peru Sri Lanka and Vietnam. The plant which is a herbaceous perennial and grows to a height of over 1m bears large pretty leaves and spikes of clustered flowers. Turmeric the spice is the underground root or rhizome of the plant. Though turmeric is grown over vast areas for commercial use it is also often grown at home in rustic terracotta pots mainly for its fragrant leaves which are used to flavour some indian sweets. As for the root only cured turmeric has the aroma and colour chiefly due to the presence of the pigment curcuminl necessary for cooking. Curing is only carried out commercially so the fresh homegrown rhizome is used solely for medicine or as a beauty aid. The rhizomes are boiled in water for about 45 minutes drained and then dried in the sun for 10 to 15 days until they become hard and dry. They are then cleaned polished and ground into a powder.
Appearance and taste
Fresh turmeric looks deceptively dull. Within its rough brown skin which can be easily peeled lies the most beautiful golden yellow root .This root is exported in its dried form which resembles tough bright yellow wood. The most widely available form of turmeric is the flamboyant golden powder that frequently shimmers next to the bright red chilli powder on shop shelves. In fact Marco Polo noted on one of his travels that its colour resembled that of saffron. Turmeric has an earthy sensual fragrance reminiscent of the aridness of vast fields parched in a hot indian summer. On its own it has a musky dry taste but it is used wholeheartedly in indian cooking for its wonderful quality of enhancing and balancing the flavours of all the other ingredients. However oe careful not to use turmeric when cooking green vegetables as they will turn grey and taste bitter.
Buying and storing
Turmeric is available as a powder or as a dried root that with some difficulty can be powdered at home. It is easiest to buy the ready ground povwder and save time and bother. Store the spice in a dry jar and use within four months or it may lose its vibrancy Be careful while storing and using turmeric; it will stain hands and clothes quite quickly.
Medicinal and other uses
Turmeric paste is used as a quick household antiseptic for minor burns and wounds. Consumption of it is said to help purify blood and to soothe inflamed sinuses. Turmeric boiled with milk and drunk last thing before going to bed is considered to be the best medicine for an irritating dry cough. Mixed with water it is also used as a depilatory and its skin cleansing and polishing properties make it an ideal face mask when mixed with milk for an oily skin or with cream for a dry skin. Turmeric is also considered sacred by Hindus. On festive days Hindu women apply an auspicious dot of red powder (sindoor) and one of turmeric on each others foreheads as a mark of respect friendship and goodwill. Turmeric has been used as a dye for centuries and is still used to colour silk cotton medicines confectionery paints and varnishes. Laboratories use turmeric paper to test alkalinity
Turmeric is used in virtually every indian meat lentil and vegetable (except greens) dish. It is an excellent preservative and therefore it is used extensively in pickles. It can be added to foods for its colour taste or as a thickening agent. If it is added to the oil before the vegetable meat or lentil it imparts a deep colour and pungent taste to the dish. Added after the main ingredient it lends a subtler flavour and a paler lemony hue. The leaves of the turmeric plant can be dried and used to flavour ghee. The leaves can also be used to wrap foods like fish or sweets before steaming. Unlike the powder which has a musky dry smell the leaves smell rich and sweet.
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